The International Freedom of Expression Exchange (IFEX), the global freedom of expression network has elected a new set of Council members at its Annual General Meeting which took place in Montreal, Canada, from June 15 to 26, 2017.
In addition, 17 new non-governmental organisations were voted in as general members of IFEX bringing the total IFEX membership worldwide to 119 organisations
The new Council members who constitute the executive body of the global network will represent members in all substantial matters and oversee the policy and strategic direction of the network. They will serve a two-year term from 2017-2019.
The new IFEX Counil members include Roula Mikhael, Maharat Foundation, Lebanon elected as Convenor; Owais Aslam Ali, Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF), Pakistan elected as Deputy Convenor; Omar Rábago Vital, Centro Nacional de Comunicacion Social (CENCOS), Mexico elected as Treasurer.
The other elected IFEX Council members are Gilbert Sendugwa, Africa Freedom of Information Centre (AFIC), Uganda; Ioana Avadani, Centre for Independent Journalism, Romania (CIJ-Romania); Jillian York, Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF); Jodie Ginsberg, Index on Censorship; Nedal Al Salman, Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR), Bahrain; Karin D. Karlekar, Pen American Centre, United States; Bulbul Ahsan, MediaWatch, Bangladesh; Berna Akkizal, Initiative for Freedom of Expression, Turkey; Pedro Vaca, La Fundación para la Libertad de Prensa (FLIP), Colombia ; and Paula Martins, ARTICLE 19.
Seventeen new organisations, including two from Nigeria, were also admitted into the network.
Some of the new organisations admitted into the global body are Institute for Media and Society (IMESO), Nigeria; International Press Centre (IPC), Nigeria; Mediacentar Sarajevo (MCS), Bosnia and Herzegovina; Media Policy Institute (MPI), Kyrgyzstan; OBSERVACOM, Uruguay; and Open Media, Canada.
Other newly admitted IFEX member organisations are 7amleh – Arab Center for Social Media Advancement, Palestine; Ad IDEM/Canadian Media Lawyers Association; Association for Media Development in South Sudan (AMDISS); Digital Rights Foundation (DRF), Pakistan; Freedom of Expression Institute (FXI), South Africa; and Global Voices Advox.
The rest of the newly admitted members of the global body are P24 the Platform for Independent Journalism, Turkey; Software Freedom Law Centre (SFLC), India; South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO); Syrian Center for Media and Freedom of Expression (SCM); and Visualizing Impact (VI), Middle East and some Global projects.
IFEX member organisations work in 71 different countries with their impact growing and their work getting more important than ever. It also used the occasion of its AGM to hold a Strategy Conference for its members.